71

Oh, steepster. The reasons for my absence are manifold but positive. A book to write, a new boy to date, a birthday month and much travel, two separate bouts of illness (flu, 1; head-cold with lingering cough, 1) which may or may not be related to the aforementioned travel, and the fall video-game release blitz have together conspired to keep me happily drained and preoccupied to the extent that what little remaining energy I have has been diverted to things other than writing tasting notes. I have been sticking with tried and true favorites. I have not purchased tea in over a month. This may be a good time to purchase lift tickets in hell.

But!

Last night I was feeling bored with the usual suspects, and I’ve had this left over from my swap with Auggy, so I decided to give it a brew. I didn’t notice until I actually sat down with it that it also contained vanilla (I probably could’ve deduced this from the name, admittedly) — but that is, in fact, the greater portion of the forward flavor in this cup, and it dominates the aroma. Once you sip, you get the warm fuzzy tongue-hug of vanilla immediately, and this gives way to a noticeable sweetness and the very, very slightly sweet flavor rhubarb mixed in. It’s not quite tart the way that rhubarb is, but there’s an astringency in the cup that seems to play into the memory of that tartness…and it’s not rhubarb-as-seen-in-strawberry-rhubarb-pie, but rhubarb the way it tastes when you get stalks of it fresh and eat it that way, only scaled back and toned down enough to not cause your mouth to pucker. It’s a very subtle flavor, but not difficult to spot — maybe ‘gentle’ is a better word than ‘subtle’.

Something about the tea reminds me of the flavored blends from 52teas — the apple flavors in particular. I don’t know if that’s the leaf or just a consequence of the rhubarb flavor. I am indecisive.

They say ‘Keemun’ for the leaf. I can see it. It just doesn’t have much character as Keemuns go; most of what you’d expect from it gets swallowed up by the vanilla, which is perhaps the point.

Not bad! Not something I’ll be looking to replace, but I like it better than I thought I would, and I’d be interested in trying other teas like it — which is apparently not as unlikely as it sounds; in searching for this online I discovered another vanilla-rhubarb tea from Sweden, produced by Friggs, whom I know from previous conversations with a Belgian friend of mine produces some kind of magical blabar (blueberry) tea. And I remember that because, blabar is an awesome word for ‘blueberry’, and anytime my friend says ‘Friggs-Blabar’ it entertains me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
takgoti

Exciting times for you! [Minus the sickness.] I had no idea IKEA had tea, though I can’t say I’m all that surprised. On a slightly separate note, has anyone ever gotten that sparkling pear drink from IKEA? It is the SHIZZ.

LENA

Oooh, you DO have a lot going on! Which video games to you plan to pick up? I’m pretty jazzed about Fable III coming out on Tuesday.

sophistre

Tak— I haven’t set foot in an Ikea for ages, to be honest! But sparkling pear sounds amazing. I’m a sucker for sparkling-just-about-anything.

Lena— I am SO BEHIND. Limited time for steepster means limited time for everything, and I’ve got a huge stack of unfinished games that go back to before the release of Halo: Reach. I lost 3 days of my life when Civilization V came out. I have hardly cracked Dead Rising 2. I’m scrambling to finish my Fallout 3 game, because Fallout: New Vegas just came out. I lost another couple of evenings to Amnesia: The Dark Descent (which, I will say, is the scariest game I have ever played, and with the horror genre of games being something of a pet genre for me, I like to think that I am no slouch in that department). Fable III looks pretty good! Rock Band 3 will be out soon, too. CoD: Black Ops, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood…the Splatterhouse reboot looks like it might be half-decent. Tron Evolution, WoW’s Cataclysm expansion, Gran Turismo V…and then getting into 2011 things like Portal 2, Dead Space 2, Little Big Planet 2… There’s a whole ton of other stuff in there, but those are just off of the top of my head!

I joke with my friends who are in production-timeline-oriented jobs (tech, politics, etc) that the fall blitz is my ‘busy season’.

Auggy

This tea was also insanely cheap – something like $3.50 for 4oz? – so I wasn’t expecting much either but it turned out pretty good (I think). Ikea also has a blueberry something or other tea which I didn’t get since I’m not a blueberry fan but I imagine would be equally decent for the price.

takgoti

Homygod. Civ V sucked me into a black hole for a good week or so. I’m only now playing Dragon Age, which is rather mortifying. Incredibly excited to get my hands on Fable III

Argh. Less money, mo’ mo’ mo’ problems.

sophistre

Dragon Age is fantastic. They’ve completely overhauled the second one to make it play more like Mass Effect (why would you do this, I ask, when DA is the most successful game Bioware has ever made? Why remake it to be more like a less popular title? I can only imagine production costs/times are at fault, but damn — I liked it for a reason!). Mages with crowd-control spells FTW.

Brian

sophistre, takgoti, I feel your pain. Civ V sucked away roughly a week of my life when I first got it! P.S. Getting a cultural victory past Warlord is near impossible for me Q_Q

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

takgoti

Exciting times for you! [Minus the sickness.] I had no idea IKEA had tea, though I can’t say I’m all that surprised. On a slightly separate note, has anyone ever gotten that sparkling pear drink from IKEA? It is the SHIZZ.

LENA

Oooh, you DO have a lot going on! Which video games to you plan to pick up? I’m pretty jazzed about Fable III coming out on Tuesday.

sophistre

Tak— I haven’t set foot in an Ikea for ages, to be honest! But sparkling pear sounds amazing. I’m a sucker for sparkling-just-about-anything.

Lena— I am SO BEHIND. Limited time for steepster means limited time for everything, and I’ve got a huge stack of unfinished games that go back to before the release of Halo: Reach. I lost 3 days of my life when Civilization V came out. I have hardly cracked Dead Rising 2. I’m scrambling to finish my Fallout 3 game, because Fallout: New Vegas just came out. I lost another couple of evenings to Amnesia: The Dark Descent (which, I will say, is the scariest game I have ever played, and with the horror genre of games being something of a pet genre for me, I like to think that I am no slouch in that department). Fable III looks pretty good! Rock Band 3 will be out soon, too. CoD: Black Ops, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood…the Splatterhouse reboot looks like it might be half-decent. Tron Evolution, WoW’s Cataclysm expansion, Gran Turismo V…and then getting into 2011 things like Portal 2, Dead Space 2, Little Big Planet 2… There’s a whole ton of other stuff in there, but those are just off of the top of my head!

I joke with my friends who are in production-timeline-oriented jobs (tech, politics, etc) that the fall blitz is my ‘busy season’.

Auggy

This tea was also insanely cheap – something like $3.50 for 4oz? – so I wasn’t expecting much either but it turned out pretty good (I think). Ikea also has a blueberry something or other tea which I didn’t get since I’m not a blueberry fan but I imagine would be equally decent for the price.

takgoti

Homygod. Civ V sucked me into a black hole for a good week or so. I’m only now playing Dragon Age, which is rather mortifying. Incredibly excited to get my hands on Fable III

Argh. Less money, mo’ mo’ mo’ problems.

sophistre

Dragon Age is fantastic. They’ve completely overhauled the second one to make it play more like Mass Effect (why would you do this, I ask, when DA is the most successful game Bioware has ever made? Why remake it to be more like a less popular title? I can only imagine production costs/times are at fault, but damn — I liked it for a reason!). Mages with crowd-control spells FTW.

Brian

sophistre, takgoti, I feel your pain. Civ V sucked away roughly a week of my life when I first got it! P.S. Getting a cultural victory past Warlord is near impossible for me Q_Q

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Ohhh, I dunno. I like tea but I’m kind of a tea newbie. At this point I can say with authority that I may never be anything else, no matter how many teas I try…there is always something new out there.

I write a lot.

I also play way too many video games.


Ratings! (Bout time, wot?) This is a new arrangement, so…subject to change!

1-10: Not potable. First-sip disasters.

11-30: Intensely unpleasant…won’t catch me finishing the cup.

31-50: I really don’t like it…but maybe somebody else out there would.

51-70: Drinkable, but probably not the first thing I’m going to reach for.

71-90: Pretty good tea, and stuff that there’s a good chance I’ll have on-hand. Will do in a pinch at the low end, all the way up to regular visitors to my infuser on the high end.

91-100: Teas I really do not want to be without.

Location

Boston/Cambridge

Website

http://sophistre.tumblr.com/

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer